Geococcyx californianus

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Quick Facts
Body Length: 10 - 12"
Wild diet: Primarily animals such as insects, gophers, mice, bird eggs, lizards and small snakes; they also eat various fruits, including prickly pears and seeds.
Zoo Diet: Adult mice, baby mice, meal worms, crickets
Distribution: Western and southwestern United States, Mexico
Desert scrub and dry open lands

Roadrunners are large, ground-dwelling members of the cuckoo family. They have a bushy crest, a long beak, and long tail feathers. Although they are capable of some flight, they rarely choose to do so. Their name comes from their ability to quickly run out of the way of cars. They have 4 toes, 2 facing forward and 2 facing backward. Their coloration helps camouflage them in their natural habitat.

Status in the Wild

Roadrunners are not threatened or endangered in the United States, but urbanization and human activity have reduced the availability and quality of their habitat. they are protected by the Migratory Bird Act.

Conservation Programs

Listed as of "least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

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